How to Save Money on Flights with Skyscanner-But Should You?

Home » Travel » How to Save Money on Flights with Skyscanner-But Should You?

This post may contain affiliate links.

Of all the tools we used for finding bargains in the travel world, Skyscanner was number 1, until the day we found ourselves at the check-in desk with non-existent tickets. That update and scam warning is further down the page. Our tips on how to save money on flights with Skyscanner still stand and are here for you to use. Skyscanner is a great tool, but beware certain 3rd party ticket vendors – Skyscanner have contacted me and this vendor was removed from its databases. So go ahead and open Skyscanner USA right here, (in a separate window – if you’re on mobile you’ll need to grab the Skyscanner app, also from the link above.) I’ll give you some tips.  Through using Skyscanner and the tips here we saved ourselves £100 per person, £300 total, on our flight to Sri Lanka. For Skyscanner UK, Skyscanner Australia, and other international Skyscanner websites, click here.

How to use skyscanner to find cheap flights
In our post we’ll explain how to use Skyscanner to find cheap flights, best days to fly, and cheaper routes. We’ll also tell you how and why we were stranded at the airport with no tickets after booking with Skyscanner.

Let’s take a look at how to use Skyscanner to scan flights and find the best bargains for 2023.

We still prefer Skyscanner to new flight scanner comparison tools, including Kiwi, it also often gives us cheaper prices than going direct to the airlines themselves but that comes with our warning below.

Read the tips, use these skills and hacks to find the best routes, days, and deals, but proceed with caution and find out what happened to us.

Skyscanner Tips, Tricks, and Hacks to Save Money On Flights

We all want to save money on flights, right?

Let me walk you through a few Skyscanner tips.

Of course, you need to be flexible, if you need a direct flight on a certain day you can’t work the same magic, but , or Skyscanner UK (.net is global, .com is USA is UK specific – sites also exist for other countries) will still help you find the best price.

Enter your departure airport and destination in the box, enter 2 dates. Start your search and below the search box you’ll see an important next step. 

You’ll need to open Skyscanner using the links iI gave you n the first paragraph to follow along and see how this is done.

You’ll Love Skyscanner Flexible Dates. Find the Cheapest Day to Fly

How to Save Money on Flights With Skyscanner. Whole Month Search to Find Cheapest Days

So, you’ve got Skyscanner open, first enter your departure airport in the FROM box.

You don’t have to be specific, you can ask for any airport in your city, let’s say it’s London.

Catching a bus to Stansted or Luton may be cheaper than paying for a Heathrow flight.

You can even ask for any airport in the country.

We often use any airport in the UK to start our search. The image above shows a search from Fort Lauderdale (Any).  You will be given information relating to any Fort Lauderdale Florida airport.

In the TO box you enter your destination.

Again, this destination doesn’t have to be specific, “any” works here too.

There is an extra hack you need to know about this step, it’s further down the page, under search ” Everywhere”. 

Beneath your departure date you’ll see the pop-up box shown above  “show whole month”. This option allows you to view flights, by day, during that month. You will be able to see exactly which day will be cheaper and best for you to fly.

chart how to use skyscanner showing cheapest days and months to fly

By selecting ” whole month” Skyscanner will generate a set of data similar to that seen above. Daily prices, colour coded, are visible beneath each calendar date.

If you look at the top of the graphic, you can see that you have a choice of views, either calendar view or bar chart view. Both make it easy to spot the cheapest day to fly over a prolonged period.

You’re not confined to one month, Skyscanner’s blue arrow buttons next to the current month allow you to scroll forward or backward in time, month by month. Did you download the Skyscanner app yet? Get that here.

Type in “Everywhere” as Your Destination in Skyscanner

How to Use Skyscanner to Find the Cheapest Destinations

If, for example, you are long-term travelers looking for a next destination or maybe you want to go somewhere for a weekend but don’t know where, you’ll love Skyscanner’s ” Everywhere” option.

Instead of a fixed destination, just select “everywhere” from the drop-down list.

Skyscanner will now work its magic and bring you a list of possible destinations, cheapest place first. Each price will be the best they have available for that country.

This is how we ended up in El Salvador after Florida. We didn’t know where we wanted to go, so we just took the cheapest flight into Central America and from there took buses, we saved ourselves a fortune.

Choosing Your Best Dates for Travel

 In the DEPART box, click on the calendar image. A standard calendar appears with days for you to click, instead of selecting a particular date look a little lower down.

Under the calendar you will see something like this, WHOLE MONTH or WHOLE YEAR is what you need.

A search like this, once you’ve selected your desired destination and preferred airports ( based on price or your convenience), will give you a graph showing prices, day by day. Now you know which days are cheapest.

Not Ready to Book? Sign Up for Notifications

Select the flight and day you want and click the button to allow notifications on this flight.  

You can do this for multiple flights and destinations, I really like that they all come in 1 email instead of several.

Skyscanner will tell you if flight prices have increased or decreased.  You can watch and wait for prices to dip for as long as your nerve lasts. Around 3 months before departure is often the best time to book.

Exploring Alternate Flight Routes in Skyscanner

This is how we found a real saving on those Sri Lanka flights. The cost was looking too high so we explored alternate routes. It turned out we’d get the best prices on Sri Lanka fights (from London) by using Skyscanner to get us to Istanbul and then Dubai.

First find which routes OUT of your destination are cheapest. Enter your destination as your departure point and select “everywhere” as your destination as mentioned above. Your Skyscanner list will tell you which countries are cheapest to fly TO, it’s a pretty safe bet they’ll also be cheapest to fly FROM.

Search again FROM that country and check your incoming flight cost TO that country. A pen and paper helps me out with this part.  The sum of a flight to Turkey and the flight from Turkey to Sri Lanka was, in our case £100 less.

For the 3 of us that was a saving of £300, $470 US with the added bonus of a few days in Turkey.

I think that’s all you need to know to start making big savings on flights. We swore by Skyscanner, it was probably our favourite money-saving tool. If you follow our how to use Skyscanner tips and tricks you’ll save money on travel too.

If you need any further help with using Skyscanner, drop me an email and I’ll do my best.

Skyscanner Daily Best Deals

Did you know that Skyscanner also lists its daily best deals on flights? So if you want to go somewhere, internal or international, and don’t mind where, you’ll want to use this feature.

This is daily best deals from, and within the USA only, unfortunately. It also gives you a pretty good idea of where you are allowed to go!

Is it Cheaper to Book Through Skyscanner or Direct with the Airlines Themselves?

This varies. Sometimes Skyscanner has by far the best deals, sometimes booking direct with the airline can give you the best deal.

Our best tip is to follow all of the tips on this page to find your best day, price, airline and route and then double-check your price against the airline’s price.

Etihad have given us better prices than Skyscanner recently, and also Wizz Air, Fly Dubai and Air Asia.

Even if you end up booking direct with the airline, Skyscanner can still be a great research tool.

Should You Book with Skyscanner or Direct With the Airline? – The Scam

As full-time travellers with many years of flights under our belts, we never thought this could happen to us.

Recently we were about £3000 out of pocket after booking flights via Skyscanner with a third-party seat booking company, Go To Gate.

We turned up at the airport to discover our seats didn’t exist despite ongoing confirmations.

Our original booking money vanished and we were forced to book new tickets, on the spot, at well over double the price. Don’t let this happen to you.

If you want to read the full story on how Go To Gate cancelled our tickets and didn’t tell us while keeping our money, it’s here. (will open in a new tab)

Go to Gate wouldn’t refund a cent, or even communicate with us, and our claim took months to process under consumer protection laws.

Eventually, and it was months plus some fraught legal form filling in Kathmandu, our credit card company refunded the full amount.

How Go To Gate can hold onto money AND not provide a ticket is totally beyond logic. They claimed the error was down to my credit card company.

We now avoid Go to Gate, there are many social media channels bearing such titles as ” Go to Gate is a Scam” which we weren’t aware of when we booked these flights.

Book direct with the airline or just be cautious of who you book with via Skyscanner.

I’m not saying Skyscanner are bad, they’re not, but you can run into difficulties with these 3rd parties, just check and double-check everything. We still use Skyscanner every time we are looking for flights. Just not that particular 3 rd party.

Using Skyscanner to Find the Best Deal on Car Hire or Rental

Yes, Skyscanner can also find you a great deal on car hire. Exactly the same principles apply. 

Using Skyscanner to Find a Deal on Hotels

Yes, they do this too. There are so many tools these days that allow you to find bargains, book flights and travel independently. You really never, and I mean never, need to pay for the services of a travel agent. We haven’t used a travel agent since 2001, that’s over 20 years ago. Take a look at Skyscanner USA hotel listings via the links above.

You Can Use Skyscanner on Your Laptop or Phone

using skyscanner laptop
Using Skyscanner to book flights on a laptop.

Personally, I always prefer to use my computer over any app on a phone. Skyscanner does have an app which you can download.

You’ll find that most apps lack certain features of the full version of the site. If you’re stuck, yes, you can use Skyscanner on a phone to book flights.

We hope you’ve found our tips on using Skyscanner to find the best value flights useful. If you’d like more help with planning an extended trip, using flight prices from Skyscanner to determine destination and date, we have a post on planning a big trip. If your ambitions are bigger and you’d like to travel the world as we do, full-time, we have our series on how to travel the world. Want to see our favourite low-cost places to stay in Southeast Asia?  See here . Want to research your Florida trip? Go here. Skyscanner do also have a hotel booking page along with their car rental comparison facility (above).  Best of luck with your travels and bargain hunting!

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

41 thoughts on “How to Save Money on Flights with Skyscanner-But Should You?”

  1. Just seen your wonderful article. Thank you very much, hqve learnt something. I am gonna Use it with my husband.

  2. It should be mentioned that repeated search for the same connection can drastically increase the price. This is what happened to me: After searching for a flight to a destination in Central America, I tried Swoodoo, Kayak, Momondo, and, and the price was higher each time. But I got the highest price after searching again on skyscanner (~$1800). Finally, I connected via VPN and private browsing and got almost the original price (~1200$) back. It even makes a difference if you search from a Windows PC, Android or iOS device: Android is the cheapest option. Try it out!

  3. Hi Alyson,

    This is an excellent and comprehensive description of skyscanner. However, I have the impression that their website is becoming increasingly overloaded with advertising, and the user experience is subpar. Kayak makes me feel a lot better, but the amount of information is still overwhelming. I recently discovered Drungli, which features an easy-to-use interface and a mission that resonates with me.

    Have a lovely day!

  4. Just looked for flights on sky scanner and go to gate are still there. Why are u advertising a company that bullshit u?

    • Because they didn’t, they told me the truth, they were removed. We checked at the time. If they’re back on something must have changed.

      • I dont even get what this mean? We look at skyscanner all the time? Are thye legit?

        • Yes, Skyscanner is totally legit. It’s a simple, fast way to find the cheapest days, routes, months even. For instance, we’re heading to KL soon, the days we were planning to fly prices were high, we saw that in a few more days prices come down, so we’ll hang out in Bali a little longer and save ourselves $100 each on flights out. Prices were high for every destination from Bali ( we used the ” Everywhere” feature. Turns out it’s Chinese New Year, so it didn’t make sense to build in a side trip to Yogyakarta or something. Instead, we’ll try a few new places in Bali until the celebrations are over. We checked all routes, we’re on our way to Brunei. Bali – KL – Brunei is the cheapest route. All of this information is on Skyscanner.

  5. I am stunned after checking rates on Skyscanner website…really I never thought that finding cheapest flight tickets is that easy.

  6. I’ve also used skyscanner to save money, and I’d also like to say that I found a website called wander – which allows me to search for travel destinations that fits my budget, which is also a great deal of help.

  7. this is one of the great post about how to save money on flight scanner. I am totally agree with your great idea. because we are very struggling in saving our money so this article was very effective and helpful to us. thanks for sharing this amazing article.

  8. hi there, loved your skyscanner tips as it is a great tool to use. one thing i was wondering that you might be able to help me with is if you book a flight when you are in another country , say nepal, can you still buy the tickets through the uk websites or does it ‘re-direct’ you to a local agency that might not have the same protection as uk laws allow. the reson for this is because i will buy some flights upfront but to stay flexible i will book flights on the move in asia but am worried this will not work abroad. keep up the good work on the blog, very informative.

    • I don’t think there is any ” advantage” in using the UK website. Skyscanner directs you to the airline’s website to book, you don’t actually book through the Skyscanner site. Prices are lower if the internet “sees” you as being in a less affluent country ( ie, it will default to the country of booking/ departure) so you may get an even better deal.

  9. Hi
    I am currently trying to convince my husband to travel for a year 🙂 we have a freehold home and though we could put a small mortgage on it to pay for trip and rent it out. I see you traveled with your children and we would do the same ours are 5yrs and 16yrs both girls….. how do your children get on with schooling? and living in small spaces?
    At the moment my husband doesn’t think we are that kind of people who could to this! but who are and helpful hints to help me convince him we are that kind of people?


    • Hi Aimee, we’ve been travelling with our children for almost 4 years now and it’s still going great! Living in small scapes, we actually prefer, our old house in Australia was vast, now we feel more connected as a family, nobody can disappear off. But with a 16 year old…I don’t know! My eldest is now 12, we’re about to hit the teens, so far so good, he’s a sweetheart. Schooling, well maybe start reading here, homeschooling or worldschooling is actually my speciality, you’ll find a homeschooling and travelling heading at the top of the page, or try this one . Good luck and I can’t recommend taking off round the world with your kids highly enough.

  10. Such a great article thanks! Wondered how it worked that all these travel bloggers got cheap deals. Now because of u I know to use whole month/year button and also select “everywhere”. Great tips thanks. Loving your blogs and tips. We family with 2 homeschooled boys travelling part time at the moment.

  11. Hi! I was looking for this post! One question I have, Is the cheapest month option the same as the whole year option? I can’t seem to find whole year. Thank you!

  12. wonderful help.i love travel .so it will be great and flexible for me .thanks Alyson…….

  13. This is a wonderful app to help a traveler save up for the road. There are just so many options for flights, it’s so overwhelming at times! Notifications are great, no need to constantly just look into the app daily for a wonderful schedule. Thanks for sharing this, it will certainly help make booking flights easier and much more manageable!

  14. I have lost many an afternoon playing on Skyscanner and Kayak looking at where I can fly to for what bargain price 🙂 Thanks for the post, I did pick up a couple of tips I wasnt aware of.

  15. This is BRILLIANT! I use sky scanner all the time and never knew about this. Saves a fortune and also makes you consider places you might not otherwise! Genius! Any similarly fabulous tips for then finding accommodation?

  16. So do you guys take part in any sort of rewards programs or do you fly with different companies each time, depending on which is cheapest? I’m planning our first out of U.S. vacation and not sure where to start! Thanks!

  17. I’m an American expat in France and always on the lookout for cheap flights. I usually use French comparison sites but going to bookmark Skyscanner and your tips. Never hurts to look 😉

  18. I use Skyscanner frequently, but didn’t know about the “everywhere” option! That’s great!!! Thanks for the tips!!

  19. Worked great for our traveling family. .and the college kids get to make short holidays special treats and stay in budget 🙂
    So who’s not flying? ???….And yes, along for the next journey…

  20. I have used this before without much luck but I didn’t know the “everywhere” button. I LOVE this option. Of course this is “expensive” as now I want to travel next week:) Thanks for sharing and I will remember to go thru your site.

  21. Been playing around with Skyscanner this afternoon, but that’s the bit I was missing: the “exploring alternate routes” methodology. Thanks so much!!


Leave a comment